Don't let discount selling schemes with sites like Zillow and Redfin get you off your game. Prove your skills to sellers, show your value as an agent and get more listings.
We hear it all over the news — Zillow, Redfin and other websites offering discount opportunities to home sellers. Are you concerned about sellers buying into the hype? Are you worried about what Zillow is going to do to the market or how the discounts offered by Redfin could negatively impact your business? Maybe you’re asking yourself how all of these “bargain deals” are going to affect you as a real estate agent.
Well, today I want to share some ways that you can relinquish those fears, set yourself apart and get more listings. Let’s face it; there are always going to be cheapskate home sellers, and if Zillow and Redfin can fulfill their needs, so what? There are also “middle of the road” sellers, who are on the fence about whether they should go the discount route or opt for an agent who can deliver the best marketing and the best value. Of course, there is also a third group — sellers who understand the risks of listing with Redfin and Zillow who will always hire a reputable real estate agent. That means you can work with the majority of sellers if you play your cards right!
First of all, you have to know who you’re going after. Ask yourself who your ideal client is? What are their needs, wants and fears? The more you can learn about them, the more you can speak their lingo. That way, you can narrow down the list of who you’re going after and forget the Redfin and Zillow crowd. There are always going to be people who come in and change up an industry, but people will always need real estate agents — just like people will always need doctors, even with sites like WebMD!
Here's another thing you can do to separate yourself: Give good information. Don't give general CRMs that sellers can easily find themselves with a quick internet search. Give detailed information, but make sure sellers can understand and comprehend it. Be that “boots on the ground” agent, the one who knows what's going on in the area. Yes, Zillow can call a certain house a great choice, but if you know that Walmart's coming in to build right behind this house, that's something Zillow does not know. And that's just one example.
Never beg anyone for a listing if they’re leaning the other way. Just say something like, “Hey, if you don't want to list, that's totally fine with me, but let me mention the advantages. Here's what you have to lose.”
I prefer this approach because many studies show that 75 percent of us respond to and are motivated by fear of loss. Only about 25 percent of people are motivated by pleasure of gain. That means you have to show these sellers what they have to lose by taking shortcuts, and show how you are the better choice. You're the one who's going to protect them, and you have insurance. If you make a mistake as a real estate agent, you have insurance to cover that as well. Sellers need to understand that if they take a risk, they could suffer a loss.
I also want to caution you to avoid talking against Redfin or Zillow. It just doesn’t look good to put others down to boost yourself. Instead, validate their idea to use Zillow and Redfin (if they mention they’re considering it). Tell them both sites are a great source of general information and a decent “jumping off” point, but there’s much more to be had with an agent. They need a local expert, a marketing expert. You are worth far more than an app or website; you’re a person with other skills and advantages.
If you can prove your value over sites like Zillow and Redfin, you’ll be able to secure more listings — listings from people who really care about quality and will respect what you do. By working with quality sellers, you can improve your conversion rate and reach more people who will give you quality referrals in the future.